Breastfeeding is one of the many natural wonders of motherhood, but did you know all the health benefits for both you and your baby that can come from it?
For so many new moms, breastfeeding is a commonly misunderstood phenomenon that feels like more of a nuisance than a blessing. However, breast milk is actually loaded with nutrients and vitamins that can keep your child healthy for years to come.
Some moms choose not to breastfeed for personal reasons, and that is more than OK, too. But it’s good to know that there is a growing list of health and financial benefits when it comes to breastfeeding your baby.
Are you still on the fence about breastfeeding? Scroll through our list below for 10 things you never knew about breastfeeding. Any choice is a good one, as long as you’re armed with all the facts and the right information — and as long as you talk to your doctor first!
Thumbnail Photo: Flickr / Celeste Burke
1. Not Every Mom Can Breastfeed
Many moms make the decision to breastfeed due to its myriad of touted health benefits, but not every woman has the ability to produce milk. In fact, up to 5% of women don’t produce enough milk to breastfeed for several reasons, including illnesses and the way their breasts are shaped.
2. It Burns Calories
The process of making milk expends a lot of energy, and it can burn an average of 300 to 500 calories in just one day. That’s a great way to lose baby weight!
3. It Fights Off Diabetes
4. It Saves An Average Of $1,200 Per Year
Compared to formula, breastfeeding can save an average of $1,200 per year for a new mom. That kind of money adds up when you have a newborn baby!
5. It Keeps Babies Healthy
Breast milk is loaded with white blood cells, macrophages, and more that protect babies from common illnesses like ear infections and diarrhea.
6. It Protects Babies From Food Allergies
Breastmilk contains immunoglobulin A (IgA), which lines the intestinal walls to keep foreign molecules from causing an allergic reaction. This prevents food allergies both as a child and later in life.
7. Your Baby Knows The Smell Of Your Breast Milk
Have you ever wondered how your baby always knows to turn to you when they’re hungry? That’s because by 2 weeks old, your baby can distinguish the smell of your breast milk from other milk and knows exactly where to find their food.
8. It Helps You Recover From Birth Faster
Breastfeeding releases hormones that allow your uterus to shrink to its pre-pregnancy size more quickly.
When your uterus shrinks, your belly will slowly shrink with it, though some things on your body will be altered after childbirth — and that’s completely normal!
9. Your Baby Can Taste What You Eat
Though formula has one taste, your baby can slightly taste what you’ve eaten that day when they breastfeed. When you eventually introduce solid foods into your baby’s diet, they will already have a taste for them.
10. Breast Milk Is Expensive
Breast milk is very high in demand — at $4 per ounce, it sells online for 262 times the price of oil! If you produce more breast milk than your baby needs — which most women do — then you can look into selling it online for a hefty profit.
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